The Happiest Hours

We do the legwork to find you 30 of the most satisfying places to sip and snack.

City Tavern
3200 Fillmore (at Greenwich), 567-0918,
3–7 p.m. Mon.–Fri.
The best place to get a happy hour sip and nibble in Cow Hollow's Bermuda Triangle is City Tavern, where you can enjoy a generous cheeseburger, pizza, Caesar salad, chicken wings, or a splendid helping of pasta pomodoro for a mere $2. To wash it down, there's $2 draft Fat Tire, Trumer Pils, Gordon Biersch, and Hoegaarden, and for an extra dollar you can have a glass of the house wine or a shot of Svedka vodka in a variety of fruity flavors. Sunny, airy, and comfortably casual, this is a popular place to end the workday or kick off the evening.

Uva Enoteca
568 Haight (at Steiner), 829-2024,
5–6:30 p.m. Sun.–Thu.
This Lower Haight storefront is a trim, tidy hangout with exposed brick, abstract art, and an attractive marble-topped wine bar where you can enjoy a Peroni for a buck-fifty and a few choice nibbles during happy hour: orange lentils with herbs and croutons ($4), cacio e pepe pasta ($8), or cracker-thin pizza topped with mozzarella and Zoe's artisan salami ($6). A glass of the house red is $4, or opt for the Ultra cocktail ($4), blond beer with ginger beer, lime, lemongrass, and tarragon.

Acme Burgerhaus
559 Divisadero (at Hayes), 346-3212
3–10 p.m. daily
There's nothing like a thick, juicy burger at the end of the working day (especially if it has cilantro, feta, pine nuts, or sumak mixed in), and Acme's gourmet creations fit the bill. They're especially fulfilling with tall, cold glasses of suds, and during happy hour you can get a pint of Anchor, Sierra Nevada, Blue Moon, Fat Tire, or 21st Amendment IPA for only $1.95. The burgers are made from chicken, turkey, lamb, buffalo, ostrich, or Niman Ranch beef, and might come accented with mint, allspice, Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, or kalamata olives. The bright-red, pale-green, and dark-chocolate setting is casual, the mood brisk and professional.

The Ambassador
673 Geary (at Leavenworth), 563-8192,
6 p.m.–midnight Tue.
Beyond the unremarkable Tenderloin threshold is a fabulous tall-ceilinged bar with high-backed leather booths and candles glowing in the darkness. But the $2 Tuesday happy hour would be a bargain in any setting, with sliders, bruschette, Tater Tots, chicken wings, quesadillas, Caesar salad, and something called a soup'wich available for a mere two hundred pennies. Well drinks are also $2, as are 10 bottled beers and draft Anchor, Stella, Fat Tire, and Blue Moon. The clientele is stylish yet boisterous.

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